B-29 42-6301, assigned to the 25th Squadron, 40th Bomb Group, crashed west of Hsinching, China, on August 20, 1944. The crew was buried in Section E 66-68
on May 17, 1949. There were no survivors.
James A. Slattery, Jr,
John R, James
Francis R. Jelacic
Harvey L. Kantlehner
H. Ringgold, III
Roy E, Wagner
G 65, Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, N.J.
Location of burial
Sixty-one of seventy-five B-29's of the 58th BW dispatched
from Chengtu bomb the Imperial Iron and Steel Works at Yawata during the day with 96 tons of bombs; six B-29's attack secondary
targets and targets of opportunity. B-29's claim 17 Japanese aircraft shot down. (Fourteen B-29's are lost in combat or due
to operational accidents, including one from which the crew bails out over Soviet Territory. Two of the B-29's lost over Yawata
are downed as a result of intentional ramming by a Ki-45. Among the many airmen lost is Col. Richard H. Carmichael, the 462nd
BG commanding officer.)
During the night of 20-21 August, ten of 13 B-29's taking
off late from Chengtu attack the Yawata Iron Works; five attack secondary targets.
This B-24 Liberator, 42-40745, “Bar-A,”
and crew were assigned to the 68th Squadron of the 44th Bomb Group.
They were shot down on July 2, 1943 with no survivors. They were buried in Section E 271-273 on February 15, 1950 at
the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
Major Thomas R. Cramer, Command Pilot
1/Lt Robert E. Peterson, Pilot
2/Lt James A. Tabor, Navigator.
2/Lt Eugene R. Monahan, Bombardier
T/Sgt Charles W. Pharis, Engineer
T/Sgt Woodrow J. Cooney, Radio Oper.
S/Sgt Steve Niznok, Asst. Eng.
S/Sgt Clifton C. Hall, Asst. Radio.
S/Sgt Harry G. Smith, Waist Gunner
S/Sgt Arthur M. Yoakum, Tail Turret
MACR has two versions of what occurred. One observer states that just as we crossed the coast of Italy, and before we reached
the target, he looked back to see an Me 109 coming up from below at about 0730 o’clock.
The Me 109 was firing at ship #42-40745 and was apparently hitting it from the bomb bay to the cockpit. Smoke was coming out
of the left wing. The ship turned over on its back and started down in large circles. The next thing he saw was a flash at
about the time of the crash. He did not see any of the crew bail out. A second witness said, “I saw cannon shells bursting
off of the right wing of ship #42-40745 and saw that #4 engine had been hit, and started smoking. Apparently the cockpit had
been hit as the ship started down on its left wing, out of control. None of the crew bailed out.” Captain Lehnhausen
stated that this was the first mission for Lt. Peterson and that Major Thomas R. Cramer, as per his usual procedure, flew
as co-pilot to offer his experience to this new crew. Lt. Raymond Hamlyn, the regular co-pilot, did not fly that day.
Colonel Leon Johnson later said that Thomas Cramer was a super person who had all the qualifications to become Chief of Staff.
It was a tremendous loss!
In response to an inquiry to the Department of the Army, I received the following reply dated September
26, 2004: “Our official files reveal eye witness accounts, that airplane B-24D, #42-40745 assigned to the 44th Bombardment
Group, 68th Bombardment Squadron departed Benina, Libya, on an operational mission to Lecce, Italy, at approximately 0931,
July 2, 1943. The weather conditions were given as South, South West surface wind with unlimited visibility. Shortly after
crossing the coast of Italy, the airplane was intercepted by a German fighter, an Me109, and a running battle ensued. The
intercepting aircraft riddled the bomber from its bomb bay to cockpit with machine gun and cannon fire. The fighter then proceeded
to disable the already damaged plane by concentrating its attacks upon its wings and engines. Cannon shells damaged the right
wing severely, number four engine was smoking, and smoke was coming from the left wing. The cockpit of the bomber was hit
and the plane turned over and went down out of control. None of the crew was seen to parachute from the plane during its descent.
Immediately after the plane crashed to earth, it burst into flames and the flash was seen by other planes of the same formation
flying high above. “Members of the American Graves Registration Service recovered remains from a mass grave in Muro Leccesse Civilian Cemetery, and the Civilian Cemetery of Cavallino, Italy. These remains were reinterred
in the United States Military Cemetery, Bari, Italy, with unknown designations, pending further investigations. Although the
circumstances rendered individual identification impossible, sufficient evidence was present to determine that the unknown
remains were those of the 10 service members of flight #42-40745 and to warrant a group identification of the remains. These
group remains were interred in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, located in Louisville, Kentucky.
On February 15, 1943, then Captain Cramer crash landed the B-24, “The Captain and
the Kids,” 41-23800. Three members of this crew parachuted from the plane and were killed. However, three other members
of the crew, including Captain Cramer, were killed shortly after this incident.
This aircraft, too, was damaged by the flak over Dunkirk
at approximately 1540 hours, being hit in #4 engine, which was feathered immediately. The same hit also crippled the bomb
release mechanism, the hydraulic system and portions of the oxygen system. Three FW 190s, reported as painted gray with yellow
noses, attacked in a line from astern, from near nine o’clock. One of these enemy aircraft was claimed as destroyed
by right waist gunner, Sgt. McMackin. During these attacks, some small holes, either from 20-mm shells or machine guns
bullets, developed in the intake manifold of #2 engine. Too, about this same time, a 20-mm shell entered the cockpit, bursting
just aft of the pilot, Captain T. R. Cramer, who was protected by the armor plated seat. Two more 20-mm shells entered the
waist position, one of which slightly wounded Sgt. MacCammond. A subsequent attack started a fire in #1 engine but this was
extinguished temporarily, and #2 engine was feathered. About mid-channel, near 8,000 feet altitude, the third attack by three
FW 190s, also gray with yellow noses, occurred from 9 o’clock, level. The left waist gunner
returned fire at about 1,000 yards but the enemy aircraft continued to close until near 300 yards, and then broke off. These
three fighters had just attempted to finish off Lt. Oliphant’s ship, which had been yawing badly. (This attack was not
seen by Diehl’s crew.) A few moments later #1 engine again caught fire and began to burn. At this same time Lt. Flynn,
the bombardier, went out on the catwalk in the bomb bay and manually jettisoned the bombs. Then Lt. Flynn, Lt. Poole, and
T/Sgt. Crump also bailed out by way of the open bomb bay. This sequence was observed by crewmembers in Lt. Diehl’s aircraft.
At 1615 hours, it became apparent to Capt. Cramer that his ship could not make base so he headed for the beach area. He succeeded
in crash-landing on the beach 10 to 15 yards from the water’s edge. The landing was made without flaps or landing gear,
but those on board were not injured seriously, and they soon managed to extinguish the fire in #1 engine. Site of crash was
approximately one mile south of Ramsgate. Two bodies (Poole and Flynn) were recovered immediately. Crump’s body was
The B-24, 42-40077,
“Yankee Doodle Dandy” was assigned to the 319th Squadron of the 90th Bomb Group. They were
shot down on April 12, 1944. Most of the crew was buried on February 20, 1950 in Section E 292-293 of the Zachary Taylor Nat’l
L. Golden, Pilot, Captured and beheaded
2/Lt John R.
Jennings – Copilot, Captured
2/Lt Bernard M. Donahue, Captured and beheaded
A. Sparks – Buried at Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
N. Stachowiak – Buried at Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
D. Toppert – Buried at Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
S/Sgt Eugene A. Ivers – Believed drowned.
C. Minnich – Buried at Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
W. Pearson – Buried at Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
J. Shroad – Buried at Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
These three men were passengers and not part of the crew.
S/Sgt Guy A. Bule, Photographer – Buried at Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Sgt William D. Ballou, Observer from V Bomber Command – Buried at Zachary Taylor
Sgt David S. Ingerman, 5th Air Force Combat Camera Unit – Buried at Zachary Taylor
Lt Golden was captured and beheaded.
Lt Donohue was captured and beheaded.
Lt Jennings . – A Japanese man remembers Lt Jennings being brought to his home and turned over to Japanese authorities.
He heard rumors that Lt Jennings was executed. .
S/Sgt Ivers was found on the bank of a lake and buried by villagers still in his parachute.
The plane and crew were lost on April 12,
1944 while on a bombing mission to Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea.
A report from another squadron stated. “A
plane from 319th Bomb Squadron became separated from the squadron and tried to attach itself to our squadron. However, this
plane dropped behind the formation, reason was not known. When enemy fighters attacked this plane was 2,000 yards behind
our formation. The Tony's and Hamp continued their dive through our formation and pressed their attack on the straggling
plane. Many strikes were seen registering on it and knocking out at least two engines and probably scoring hits on the
cockpit, with 20mm shells. The plane was seen to smoke and went into a flat spiral, crashing with a terrific explosion. Two
parachutes were seen but fighters strafed them before they reached the ground."
This B-17 Flying Fortress, 42-102426, “Kidley Divey” and crew were assigned to the 407th
Squadron of the 92nd Bomb Group. On September 11, 1944 the aircraft
was shot down over Merseburg, Germany while bombing the oil refineries. The Bombardier F/O Anderson was the only survivor
and spent the rest of the war in a POW Camp. On November 15, 1949 four members of the crew were buried in Section E Site 188
at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
William J. McIlone, Pilot Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
2/Lt Ezra N. Loyd, Copilot
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
2/Lt Stanley A. Sobotik, Navigator Netherlands
F/O Ralph H. Anderson, Bombardier -
POW at Stalag Luft 1
T/Sgt Paul J. Garman, Gunner/Engineer Netherlands
S/Sgt Douglas M. Fulkerson, Radio Operator
Netherlands American Cemetery
S/Sgt James E. Sheehan Jr., Gunner
Cpl Howard A. Bohn, Gunner Zachary
Taylor National Cemetery
Cpl Elmer S. Kirby Jr., Tailgunner Zachary
Taylor national Cemetery
This B-17 Flying Fortress, 42-97082, “Mission Mistress,” and crew were assigned
to the 410th Squadron of the 94th Bomb Group. On January 6, 1945 'Mission Mistress' crashed on take
off at the end of the main runway after the number four engine failed just at the point of take-off. Five of the nine man crew onboard lost their lives in the tragic crash and the explosions that followed.
On April 30, 1949 S/Sgt Tate and Sgt Von Bokel were buried in Section E Site 33 at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
BS crew onboard 'Mission Mistress' January 6th 1945:
S/Sgt James F. Tate, Gunner & Engineer
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Sgt Raymond J. Von Bokel, Radio Operator
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
1/Lt Jack W. Collins, Pilot
Cambridge American Cemetery
2/Lt Gordon F. Henry, Navigator
Cambridge American Cemetery
*Lt. Henry was from Lt.
Robert Hall's crew (Heavenly Comrade).
Sgt Clinton R. Hallman Jr, Bombardier
Cambridge American Cemetery
2/Lt Robert J. Doran, Co-Pilot.
Sgt Ony "Tony" M. Carrico, Gunner
Sgt Nicholas A. Urda, Waist gunner.
Sgt Cecil H. Schermerhorn, Tail Gunner.
from the crew on this mission due to illness was 2/Lt Julius Wishner who was the navigator for this crew. After WWII Lt. Wishner
became a Professor at the University of Pensylvania but sadly passed away in 1993.
Thank you Dianna Estepp for sending me Tony Carrico's picture and obituary.
This B-17, 42-30859,
named “Skylark,” was assigned to the 96th Bomb Group, 413th Squadron. The crew was killed
in a mid-air collision on January 29, 1944. They were buried on September 26, 1949 in Section E Plot 158-159 at the Zachary
Taylor National Cemetery.
1/Lt Louis C. Kandl, Pilot
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
Brandin J. Britt, Copilot
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
Albert Combs, Bombardier
Golden Gate National Cemetery
Robert W. Stanton, Navigator Golden
Gate National Cemetery
Edward J. Knapp, Top Turret Gunner Zachary Taylor National
Robert J. Scanlon, Radio Operator Zachary
Taylor National Cemetery
Theodore E. Brown, Gunner
Aaron E. Shoop, Gunner
Buried in Montana
Charles E. Harbaugh, Tailgunner
The crew did not return from this mission due to a mid-air collision
over Germany in an air battle on the way back from the
target. Two members of the "Skylark" crew survived and
were taken P.O.W. They spent 12 months in Stalag Luft III, then 3 months in Stalag VIIA. They were liberated on April 29, 1945, by General George Patton's armored division and returned to
the U.S. in May of 1945. The remains of the rest of the crew were located and returned to the U.S. in 1948. Four were interred
in a military cemetery in Kentucky and the other 2 were interred by their families.
By Charles Harbaugh:
In January of 1944 the crew of "Sky Lark" was assigned the position
of squadron leader. On the morning of January 29, 1944
after being briefed and assigned the target of Frankfurt,
during the warm up and preflight inspection of the aircraft, a mechanical problem developed. While the problem was being rectified by the ground crew, the squadron took off with the normally second plane in the lead. By the time our
plane was air worthy and we caught up with the assembling
group, it was too late to take over the lead and we filled
in farther back in the formation.
After the bombs were dropped through a hole in the overcast (undercast
to us) on what we thought was Frankfurt we turned for
home base. No friendly escort fighters appeared, but scores
of German fighters did. They attacked the formation and tried to dive through the formation, a tactic used to loosen the defensive fire power and get a bomber on the side by itself.
All of a sudden I heard over the intercom, "Look out", then a crash
and I was in the tail section alone, and the rest of the
plane was gone. I had little trouble freeing myself but
when I jumped and rolled over to open my parachute the tail section was following me down at nearly the same rate of speed I was falling. I waited as long as possible to open my parachute and somehow the parachute missed the tail section and we landed seconds apart in a small field. The tail section was
not more than 200 Staff Sergeant Theodore D. Brown,
the right waist gunner, was thrown out of the plane when
it was broken in two at the waist. He was wearing his chute and landed safely.
After returning home after the war he was interrogated about the crash.
"The collision happened at about 11:45 Greenwich Time at an altitude
of 23,000 feet on the way home near Belgium. Besides me
only the tailgunner could bail out; he was in the tail
which had been separated. On the ground I met two crew members of the other plane, the bombardier and one of the waist gunners.
Our pilot Kandl didn't bail out. He was caught in the ship. My last
contact with him was during the usual interphone conversation.
When I saw him last he was not injured. I think he must
have been trying to straighten the ship out also he must have known the tail was off. The controls were out and the ship was falling.
Ball turret gunner also didn't bail out, his chute was outside the
ball. He was not injured but trapped in the ball. I think the ball turret was cut off and could only
be worked manually. The ship was falling and spinning
and he couldn't get out off the ball.
Top turret gunner Knapp saw the wing ship coming toward us and started
to warn the pilot but it was too late. The ship went into
a dive and he was not wearing his chute and must have
been trapped in the ship.
I saw Shoop, left waist gunner, the last time before I bailed out.
He didn't wear his chute and I asked him if he wanted
to put his chute on and he shook his head "no". Germans
reported him dead. I think he either went out without a chute or stayed in the ship. I personally think he went out. The slipstream was cutting the ship and he stood near to the edge.
Due to the crash of the other ship colliding with ours and breaking
ours in two, radio operator Scanlon may have fell against
something in the radio room and lost conciousness and
did not got out."
Charles Harbaugh about
"At the edge of a field there was a line of trees, about 50 yards long,
behind another field and then a hill. I threw my chute
into the tail section debris, passed the first field and
hid under the trees. When I heard a search party approaching I left the trees on the other side to run across the second field toward the hills. Reaching the middle of the field, I saw a German soldier riding a motor bike around the edge of the
line of trees. He shouted "Halt!" and I stopped at once.
He rode to me and I became his prisoner. He asked for
the chute, so we went back to the tail and took it. I wore my .45 pistols but didn't even think of pulling it. Furthermore the soldiers wore a weapon. He told me to walk on and showed the direction, so I walked. And he followed with his
motor bike. The time must have been about noon."
"I was taken to a small village a short distance away. Times and distances
are deceptive, especially after all these years. I do remember a column of smoke rising from the other side of a hill and what sounded like ammunition exploding
in the fire. That evening one or two others and myself
were taken by truck to a place where we met other American
flyers and were kept over night. That is were I met Ted Brown, our waist gunner. He was thrown from the plane but had his chute on and was uninjured as was I. He drifted several kilometers away on the way down. "
"The next day we were put on a train and taken to the Dulag Interrogation
Center in Frankfurt. After having been bombed a day or
two before it is needless to say the civilians were not
happy. We were protected by the army guards and were not mistreated
at any time. After being interrogated by the Luftwaffe I was taken by train to Stalag Luft III near Sagan. I was in custody until January of 1945 when the Russians were moving into Germany from the east. At that time we were moved out and taken to Stalag VII A where I was liberated April 29, 1945.
I have never been able to get in touch with Theodore D. Brown. The
remains of the crew members were returned to the U.S.
in the late forties. I was notified by the War Department
and attended the internment at a National Cemetery and met their next of kin but Brown did not attend and no one knew his whereabouts then."